Russian double Olympic champion Evgeny Rylov suspended nine months for his support of the invasion

The International Swimming Federation (Fina) has cracked down. Its disciplinary committee suspended for nine months the Russian Evgeny Rylov, double Olympic champion in Tokyo on 100 and 200 m backstroke. No question of doping here, but of supporting the invasion of Ukraine. In a statement, Fina justified its decision against the 25-year-old swimmer “following his participation and behavior in an event at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on March 18, 2022”. “The suspension takes effect on April 20, 2022”, specifies the body.

To celebrate the eight years of the annexation of Ukrainian Crimea, after a pro-Western revolution in kyiv in 2014, Russia organized a demonstration on March 18 at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, bringing together 95,000 people inside the enclosure and 100,000 outside.

During this ultra-patriotic gathering, banners proclaimed “For a world without Nazism”, “For Russia”, while Russia justifies its military operation in Ukraine launched on February 24 by the need to “denazify” the country.

Russians and Belarusians already excluded from the Worlds

During his speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the forces engaged in Ukraine, citing in particular the Bible, hailing the “heroism” of Russian soldiers. Several renowned Russian athletes, including Evgeny Rylov, participated in this gathering. Some were highlighted by going on stage, and sporting the “Z”, a letter that has become a patriotic symbol, because it is inscribed on many Russian tanks deployed in combat zones.

Following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army on February 24, Fina first authorized Russian and Belarusian swimmers on March 8 to participate under a neutral flag in the 2022 Worlds, scheduled for June 18 in Budapest. to July 3, before finally deciding on March 23 to exclude them.

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